Uncapped Rashmi de Silva, Kaushani Nuthyangana part of SL squad for white-ball series against India
Experienced wicketkeeper-batter Prasadani Weerakkody and young left-arm spinner Sachini Nisansala have been left out
Sri Lanka have named the uncapped pair of legspinner Rashmi Silva and wicketkeeper-batter Kaushani Nuthyangana for their white-ball series against India which starts on June 23 in Dambulla. The hosts have made six changes to the squad that toured Pakistan, calling up left-arm seamer Tharika Sewwandi and allrounders Vishmi Gunaratne, Sathya Sandeepani and Malsha Shehani, while experienced wicketkeeper-batter Prasadani Weerakkody and young left-arm spinner Sachini Nisansala have been left out.
Allrounder Hansima Karunaratne keeps her place in the squad, after being drafted in ahead of the Pakistan tour as an eleventh-hour replacement for the highly-rated batter Imesha Dulani, 20, who is currently recovering from a long-term knee injury.
de Silva, 20, is understood to have impressed the team management during inter-squad practice games. Nuthyangana, meanwhile, will start the tour off as an understudy to the veteran Anushka Sanjeewani.
Of the inclusions, Sandeepani will provide injury cover while Shehani makes a return to the national fold following an absence of four years; the selectors are believed to have been impressed with her recent performances domestically, as well as her renewed focus on fitness. Teenager Gunaratne, meanwhile, who is the youngest of the lot, returns to the national fold having sat out the Pakistan tour. While she is highly regarded for her stroke, the coaching staff are careful not to rush into regular national duty.
It is understood that the young entrants are a sign of concerted effort from SLC to reduce the average age of their side, which currently includes several players 30 years and older. Aside from those mentioned above, only Harshitha Madavi, Hasini Perera, and allrounder Kavisha Dilhari, are below the age of 30.
The squad also has several allrounders; only Sanjeewani, Madavi, Perera and Nuthyangana are pure batters. Captain Chamari Athapaththu, Nilakshi de Silva, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, Dilhari, Karunaratne, Gunaratne, Shehani and Sandeepani, are all capable with both bat and ball.
The bowling department, meanwhile, will be spearheaded by pacer Udeshika Prabodhani and offspinner Oshadi Ranasinghe, with Sewwandi also in the mix. Inoka Ranaweera and Sugandika Kumari offer left-arm spin options, alongside de Silva's legspin.
Sri Lanka are set to play three T20Is and three ODIs against India, with the T20Is taking place in Dambulla on June 23, 25 and 27, before the action moves to Pallekele for the ODIs on July 1, 4 and 7.
Sri Lanka squad for ODIs and T20Is against India: Chamari Athapaththu (capt.), Hasini Perera, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeevani, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweeram, Achini Kulasuriya, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Malsha Shehani, Ama Kanchana, Udeshika Prabodhani, Rashmi de Silva, Hansima Karunaratne, Kaushani Nuthyangana, Sathya Sandeepani, Tharika Sewwandi